As the public sector navigates the digital age, it's important for governments to find new ways to create convenience for staff and citizens. A common frustration that many people have is the often cumbersome task of applying for building permits through city hall. This process typically has a bad reputation of being time-consuming and involving a lot of paperwork. These days, municipalities are able to combat this pain point by providing citizens with e-permitting systems that are handled online. Not only do e-permits make things more convenient and faster for citizens and the municipality, this software also helps to save money and resources in the long run.
Here are the main advantages to e-permitting, and why governments should modernize and streamline their permitting services:
One major advantage of a cloud-based e-permit system is that it allows for 24/7 access to permit applications and information. This eliminates the need for citizens and businesses to take time off work or wait in long lines at government offices during normal business hours. Additionally, the cloud allows for real-time tracking of permit applications, so citizens and businesses can easily check the status of their permits from anywhere at any time.
E-permitting systems enable municipalities to heavily reduce the amount of paper and resources that are used in the application process. This saves governments valuable time and money that would typically be spent on printing and mailing documents, and also frees up administrators to handle more complex tasks.
Online permitting software that’s hosted in the cloud can also increase data security and reduce the risk of stolen paper documents. Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) typically have robust security measures in place, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security updates. In addition, it is also common for cloud providers to have a distributed infrastructure that can increase the availability of data and applications, reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failure or natural disaster.
An e-permit system can also improve the accuracy and completeness of applications. For example, citizens and businesses can easily upload digital copies of required documents, such as building plans or business licenses, reducing the risk of missing or incomplete information.
E-permitting software also reduces the need for government employees to manually enter data, which can decrease the risk of errors. Ensuring that applications are accurate and complete can save hours or administrative time by reducing the need for any follow-ups, allowing the review and approval process to proceed with minimals delays or backlogs. Accuracy is also crucial to ensuring that building plans are in compliance with local building codes, zoning laws, and other regulations. This helps to protect public safety and welfare, as well as preserving the aesthetic and economic values of the community.
The electronic submission of applications, which can be reviewed and approved more quickly than paper applications, generates increased efficiencies in the workflow of city staff. Electronic routing and tracking of applications enables real-time visibility into the status of an application, allowing for faster follow-up and communication. Automated validation and processing of applications can reduce human error and the need for additional follow-up, speeding up the review and approval process. And e-permits often come with built-in workflow management tools, which streamline the process of routing applications to the appropriate reviewers, ensuring that the review and approval process is completed in a timely manner.
Today, there are many software platforms at hand that enable governments to provide a better citizen experience. E-permitting solutions are just one example of how municipalities can move forward into the digital age and towards a more efficient, cost-effective, and convenient process that benefits all stakeholders. Moving away from archaic processes towards more modern and efficient e-permitting systems is a great place for municipalities to begin their digital transformation journey.